[media-credit name=”Henry Ehrenberg” align=”alignnone” width=”300″]

Charles Johnson ’54, co-chair of the mutual fund Franklin Resources, has given $250 million to the university to support the building of two new residential colleges, according to an email from University President Peter Salovey this morning. The largest gift in Yale’s history will bring the University significantly closer to the fundraising goal it has set out to reach before breaking ground.

“I believe Charlie’s leadership will inspire others to come forward with the additional $80 million we must still raise to provide access to the world’s best undergraduate education to more of the world’s best students,” Salovey said in the email.

Johnson has made significant donations to Yale in the past, funding programs such as the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy and Johnson Center for the Study of American Diplomacy. His donations have also provided for the renovation of the Yale Bowl and the creation of Yale’s first all-season outdoor athletics field, all of which Salovey noted in his email.

The building of the new colleges, which are yet to be named, will allow Yale College to expand enrollment by approximately 15 percent. Salovey said the increase will allow the university to admit deserving applicants who should not be denied a place at Yale. Since 1969, when the University extended admission to women, the number of applicants has quadrupled.

In 2006, Johnson was ranked as the 52nd wealthiest American, according to Forbes. His current net worth is estimated at $5.7 billion.

The Yale Daily News previously reported on rumors of a large donation.